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About Us: Plant Diagnostic Lab (05/23/19)

The NDSU Plant Diagnostic Lab is ready to help you with your plant-related problems, and insect identification and management.

The NDSU Plant Diagnostic Lab is ready to help you with your plant-related problems, and insect identification and management. The lab is fully staffed for the first time since 2016, and we have added an insect diagnostician to better serve the citizens of North Dakota and the Red River Valley. In total, there are four staff members, ready to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and a quick turn-around. For more information regarding PDL staff and our contact details, please visit: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pdl/staff.

The lab is soft-funded, and receives no tax-generated funds for its operation or the salary and overhead of the three support staff. For that reason, there are sample-processing fees, the rates of which are aimed to be as affordable as possible and cover the costs of materials and labor related to processing the sample. Homeowner plant samples that can be diagnosed without special testing are free, including herbicide evaluation (visual only). We encourage you to call your local county Extension agent first. They can forward a sample to us if they feel it is appropriate.

Insect ID samples are also free-of-charge if the sample meets certain criteria, including:

  • Submitted by a homeowner/not-for-profit
  • Are not medically related (the PDL will provide free identifications of ticks and other human parasites for the VA)
  • The client is content with an informal email update. Formal reports are available for a fee.

The NDSU PDL reserves the right to charge fees for insect identification services at the discretion of the diagnosticians based on other sample criteria.

You can find detailed information about services we offer, how to collect a sample, shipping information, and sample submission forms at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pdl.

Contacting us by email (see staff link above for contact information) to send photos or emailing/calling with questions is a great way to start a conversation about your plant or insect-related problem. Please include your location and contact information when submitting a photo for identification.

We hope you have a great season,

Plant Diagnostic Lab Staff

Jesse Ostrander

NDSU Plant Diagnostician

This site is supported in part by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27144/accession 1013592] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the website author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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